Amongst the California sun, the image conscious motorists of the state are eager to be seen in the newest, most sought over premium vehicle. Hybrids and electrics vehicles have consumed plans for the California roadways but a convertible is a perennial favourite. At the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, German auto company BMW provided a centerpiece of droptop excitement as the completely redesigned 650i Convertible premiered.
While the previous creations giving a peek at the future 6-Series wore the word “concept” in it’s title. As the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show provided the first marque for showing the new BMW convertible, this car also the first United States showing of the 2012 BMW 6-Series giving first definitive answers to the North American version of the vehicle.
As expected, the styling of the BMW 6-Series cars appears reminiscent to the Concept Gran Coupe BMW as well as the most recent Concept 6-Series shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Starting with the more protruded kidney grille and traveling along the more aggressively contoured side, the new production BMW 6-Series exterior design flows effortlessly. Resisting the allure of retractable hardtop roofs, BMW 6-Series Convertible engineers elected to maintain a multi-layer softtop to cover the cozy interior. Electronically-controlled, the roof deploys in just 19 seconds and can be retracted in 24 seconds. Besides being a beloved classic look, the BMW 650i Convertible’s election for a fabric top allows for better all-around storage.
The 2012 BMW 650i Convertible adopts much of the chassis and drivetrain hardware already field tested on the 7-Series and most recently on the 5-Series. Transmitting a very capable ride to the occupants, the BMW 650i Convertible rides on a double wishbone suspension design at the front and multi-link units at the back side wheels. Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control as well as a special feature that compensates for brake fade keeps all-season run-flat tires firmly on the road. Through another function called Driving Dynamic Control, the driver can select the amount of interference of electronic control by choosing either a Comfort, Normal or Sport+ mode.
A 2+2 interior layout, the 2012 BMW 650i Convertible interior shell is created with high quality materials. A trademark of all BMWs continues to reign inside this 6-Series convertible as a driver-oriented cockpit enhances the motoring experience. BMW touts a new-generation Heads-Up Display as a multi-coloured, 3-dimensional driving aid. Optional equipment on the new BMW 650i Convertible, the windshield information projection system incorporates many of the vehicle’s modern safety features including BMW Night Vision and Lane Departure Warning System. Featured prominently within the refined dash panel is a 10.2 inch standard screen called a “Central Display”. Through the iDrive control pad, entertainment, navigation and phone functions are all relayed to the driver. An available multiple view camera system also projects images into the Central Display of the read, side and even above the driver.
The 4.4 liter, twin-turbo V-8 powerplant presents the 2012 BMW 650i Convertible with 40 extra horsepower over the outgoing 6-Series V-8 engine. Propelling this Bavarian Bombshell with a total of 400 horsepower, an electronically-limited speed of 155 miles per hour.
For the new BMW 650i Convertible, manual and automatic transmission choices are offered. For a ‘wind-in-your-air convertible experience, the 6-speed manual returns to this BMW personal luxury vehicle. An automatic option for the 2012 BMW 650i Convertible allows for graceful cruising but provides a less-compromised performance potential. New for the 2012 model year 6-Series, a 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission has been skillfully orchestrated for fast gear shifts. BMW’s Sport Automatic gearbox also features a manual shifting feature if the Sunday drive to the country club needs a little spunk. A 0 to 60 mile per hour time of 4.9 seconds is promised with both the manual and automatic gearboxes.
For BMW lovers awaiting more performance, the possibility of a new M6 convertible could see as much as 550 horsepower being sent on route to the rear axle. With rumours indicating the next M5 is due for release as a 2013 model (some say as early as 2012), the wait for a BMW M6 is not far.
Settling for the artificial light inside of the Los Angeles, the 2012 BMW 650i Convertible’s roll-out in early-to-mid 2011 will provide an ideal vehicle to bask in natural sunlight.
Information and photo source: BMW